Emily Tan
Aug 22, 2014

Merdeka LHS launches badass range of male grooming products

KUALA LUMPUR – Merdeka LHS, a boutique agency launched by ex-McCann Malaysia vetarans Tony Savarimuthu, Szu Lee and Huang Ean Hwa, has launched its own range of products under the brand BAD Lab (Brave & Daring Laboratory).

Merdeka LHS launches badass range of male grooming products

According to the Huang, the idea came about in the shower (where else?) when he felt there were just too many products to deal with. “Don’t give me a separate shampoo, face wash, body wash… I just want one thing that will do everything.”

The result is a tongue-in-cheek men's-care range with products such as the Caveman Cleaner, a 3-in-1 product that answers Huang’s wish, and the Full Body Armour lotion with sunscreen and mosquito repellent.

The full range of 19 products, from formulation, to the way the bottles looked and felt, to branding, has taken the team at Merdeka and its partners City Chemo Malaysia more than a year to complete. The two companies are equal partners in the venture.

According to the agency, each product’s design and accompanying copy has been crafted to “encourage men to get back in touch with their other side—their ’inner beast’—and discover an exciting, forgotten dimension of themselves. The ‘rebellious’ side. One that is unafraid to poke a sleeping lion in the eye.”

Even the online shop has an element of macho-driven insanity. Shoppers have the option of letting a slot machine pick out products for them. If that's too scary, they can click a button labeled "Not manly enough?" and head to a more conventional shopping site where they can actually select products.

Merdeka plans to distribute its products through traditional channels, but wanted to be digital-first. Its marketing too is online and via social networks. According to the team, people who have ordered online at the time of the launch in mid-August have already started to receive their products. 

But why have three ex-traditional creatives decided to launch their own line of products? They explained in a joint statement that they view themselves as entrepreneurs who happen to run an agency or creative company. “We are brand inventors, but if the opportunity arises we will also help existing businesses reinvent their brands,” they said.

Describing the launch of their own agency as ‘liberating’ (hence the name, ‘Merdeka’ which means ‘freedom’ in Malay), the three believe that Malaysian brands lack a sense of adventure.

“We like to work with brave entrepreneurs and business owners like City Chemo who seek out a unique point of difference for the brands through creativity, and then take a brave decision to really do it instead of just talking about it. There is no other way out of the quagmire of sameness.”


Related Articles

Just Published

17 hours ago

Purpose, laughs, and boppable tunes: Spikes jury ...

SPIKES ASIA X CAMPAIGN: Presidents and members of several Spikes Asia juries share the top trends they spotted in the jury Zoom rooms, with video examples.

17 hours ago

Crash Course: How to tell engaging short-form stories

To round off a week of creativity-themed content during Spikes Asia X Campaign festival, this Crash Course provides useful tips on how to build story arcs and create thumb-stopping campaigns for short-form.

17 hours ago

Lessons from Tesla, Apple and yoga (yes, yoga) in ...

SPIKES ASIA X CAMPAIGN: Creatives need to drive relevance for sustainable options, instead of virtue-signalling about sustainability, argues Gulshan Singh of FCB Interface.

18 hours ago

Spikes Asia Awards 2021: Campaign's contenders 3

As the juries make their final selections ahead of the March 1 winners announcement, Campaign Asia-Pacific's editorial team has once again scoured through the 2021 shortlist to pick out the work we expect to win.